Dr. Renee Wellenstein, “The Libidoologist,” has taken several bold leaps in her life, including creating her podcast, which started out as Love the Leap and has since been renamed The Real Heal.
Listening to her show, it’s hard to believe that just four years ago, she was wondering if she would be forced to leave medicine.
“In 2018, I was in limbo, still reeling from the effects of losing my job and my brick-and-mortar practice.
“I had gotten an email from my boss in January 2018 saying that I needed to work harder and take less vacation. I was already a hypocrite, killing myself with work while talking to patients about stress relief and eating well. I knew I had to walk away.”
This wasn’t the first time Dr. Renee had struggled with this type of decision. In 2012, she suffered a serious injury, forcing her to investigate her options in case it ended up preventing her from being an OB-GYN. At the time, she hadn’t found an alternative good fit.
Five years later, she wondered again what she would do if she left her functional medicine job.
“I lost that job pretty abruptly—it was out of left field. After it happened, all I knew was that I didn’t want to keep starting over working for someone else.”
Dr. Renee also had a burning desire to continue to teach.
As this double-board-certified doc and healthcare disruptor pondered how she might continue to change lives in some way, she came up with the idea of starting a podcast.
“When I considered how I consume content, I realized that I listen to podcasts and books while I’m making dinner, walking my dog, or commuting to my office. In the year after my job loss, the content I listened to changed my life. When I thought about how I could start getting my message to women who may not have time to watch videos, having a podcast became a no-brainer.”
Dr. Renee’s audience and clients get the help they truly need all because of one fateful night in 2014.
“After having chased my tail in the conventional world, a functional medicine doctor gave me my life back. I was shocked to find that in one call, I received an accurate medical diagnosis. I no longer wondered whether I was crazy. Not only that, but she offered me a job in functional medicine. At that time, I had no idea what functional medicine was. As she was talking, I was literally Googling it, because I had never heard of it.
“That night, I ‘jumped off the bridge,’ and I’ve never looked back. I continue to make a series of leaps in my life as I go with my gut feeling. The podcast was one of those leaps.
“After my injury, I had no sense of purpose. I didn’t feel like I had a reason to get out of bed in the morning, because I wasn’t changing lives. Ironically, throughout the nine plus years since my injury, I continue to find ways of adding value to this world and changing as many lives as I can.
“Without functional medicine, I can’t even imagine where my health would be right now. This way of life has also had a huge impact on my husband and kids.”
On The Real Heal, you can certainly expect to hear from holistic health experts, but the podcast is not solely focused on medical matters.
“The longer I work in my current capacity with women, I see how important it is for us to do the mindset work—health is essentially about the mind, body, and emotional and spiritual connection.”
If you’re wondering how to get your kids on board with healthy eating or take care of your parents while also taking care of yourself, you’ll find answers on this podcast—a one-stop shop for expertise on nutrition, mindset, and everything in between.
The show has also had a significant impact on Dr. Renee.
“My podcast was born out of the need to teach, yes… but it was also born out of a need for connection. Coming into the functional medicine world, I was no longer in a busy hospital. I didn’t feel connected with my medical colleagues, and I love to talk shop. It energizes me.
“After thinking about the struggles I saw during my 20 years of working with women, I noticed that no one is talking about libido, because it’s a hard topic. In my capacity as a doctor, when a woman came to me and said she had low libido, I didn’t know what to do with that. I didn’t have a magic pill to give her. I started thinking about why libido in women is such a mystery.
“When I went into my brick-and-mortar functional medicine practice, I made libido part of my standard questioning, and women were always shocked. Libido certainly wasn’t at the forefront of their minds. The reality is, there may be multiple factors contributing to low libido.”
One of Dr. Renee’s most viral TikTok videos is the one in which she says, “I am for you if you have weight gain, feel burned out, and have a low libido. Many women say, ‘I have all three!’
“So many people focus on what happens in the bedroom, yet many of the women I speak to don’t want to be intimate or be touched. Some will tell you, ‘My husband is great. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.’”
Dr. Renee knows what it’s like to lose hope of ever feeling better, and she’s focusing on empowering the high number of women who seem to feel helpless in the face of many issues.
“When we pay attention to libido, it’s easy to segue to other things that are going on.”
Dr. Renee doesn’t shy away from topics in the holistic health world that others aren’t addressing. The Real Heal gives listeners invaluable access to specialized experts who can change lives with their advice.
January 2022 Issue